Educational Crises and the Scramble for Usable Knowledge

Stein, Zachary (2009) Educational Crises and the Scramble for Usable Knowledge. Integral Review, 5 (2). pp. 355-367.

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Abstract

Quality-control efforts in the field of applied developmental psychology are just beginning. In this paper I set these efforts in a larger context to frame their significance and guide their direction. I argue that the challenges arising in the current post-national constellation are best understood as educational crises. The task demands of the global problem space increasingly outstrip available human capabilities. This situation is leading to a scramble for usable knowledge about education—defined broadly as any process intentionally undertaken to promote human development. There is a growing demand for techniques and technologies that catalyze the transformation of human capabilities; and this demand exceeds available supplies. Education becomes a growth market as specific types of human capabilities come to be recognized as scarce but valuable resources. This pressing global demand for innovative educational solutions and approaches has the potential to systematically distort the production of relevant usable knowledge. I present a set of general quality-control challenges that face the field of applied developmental psychology as it strives to meet the demands of a globalized crisis-ridden educational marketplace. I argue that the field should overcome temptations to circumvent peer review processes by going directly to consumers. I suggest adopting a general stance of epistemic humility so that research and collaboration are promoted and argumentative strategies that insulate approaches from criticism are avoided. Finally, I argue that more careful attention should be paid to the normative dimensions of educational enterprises, as they involve the creation of new values and raise ethical questions about the shape of what life ought to be like.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Education > Educational Methods and Practices
Education > Educational Theory
Programs: Education
Depositing User: Zak Stein
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 19:03
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 19:03
URI: http://scholarship.meridianuniversity.edu/id/eprint/40

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